Degree: Ashley was an apprentice program participant with BAE Systems Norfolk Shipyard Repair. She earned her Career Studies Certificate in Maritime Technologies in 2010.
Employer: Ashley is an apprentice instructor and craft supervisor at BAE Systems Norfolk Shipyard Repair.
Why TCC: “I got tired of dead-end jobs, going to work and really not having a career. I felt like the apprenticeship was something that would allow me to grow within the company, and I could learn a trade. I had never been in the shipyard until I entered the apprenticeship in 2006. I picked welding because welding is everywhere, got chosen and worked hard.”
On the job: “I’m on the apprenticeship committee board, so I’m part of picking who gets into the program. We’re not looking for someone with a lot of experience because then we’re not doing anything for them. We want to bring them in, train them and prepare them for management one day as a goal.”
At TCC: “The professors worked with you. Most of them also have full-time jobs, and they know you just came from your full-time job. They work with your schedule. If you didn’t understand something, they helped you out.”
Advice for other students: “Make sure it’s what you want to do. Do your research. It’s a great opportunity. There are a lot of perks with being an apprentice: job security for four years and once you graduate with that journeyman’s card, you can go almost anywhere.”